ORNL researchers make breakthrough discovery of how genes function in plants

September 9, 2021 |

In Tennessee, for decades, biologists have believed a key enzyme in plants had one function—produce amino acids, which are vital to plant survival and also essential to human diets.

But for researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, this enzyme does more than advertised. They had run a series of experiments on poplar plants that consistently revealed mutations in a structure of the life-sustaining enzyme that was not previously known to exist.

Their discovery could alter the course of gene functional studies in plants and, if applied, it could squeeze more potential out of poplar as a renewable resource for making biofuels and bioproducts.

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Category: Research

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